What is a communications strategy?
A communications strategy is a plan of action that is based around sharing your key messages and important information about the work you are doing with the local and/or wider community.
It is a simple list of what you want to tell people, and how you intend to tell them.
It involves setting yourself some targets (e.g. "we need to make people aware of…"/"we need to promote…"/"we need people to know that…") and planning how you will make people aware of this (e.g. press releases to local media, website, parish newsletter, leaflets, posters, fliers, public consultations and meetings).
The more specific it is, the better.
Also be aware of your audience – different groups of people may need different methods of communication.
Does my church need a communications strategy?
It depends on your church and circumstances. Perhaps your church is undergoing a period of change - you may want to put a media strategy in place to keep the local community informed, to emphasise the positive things that will come out of these changes, and prepare answers to any negative reactions.
However, you may simply put in place a media strategy to make people aware of the wider services that your church offers – youth church, deaf church, mother and baby groups, coffee mornings etc.
Communications strategies are not necessary – but they may help!
Download a media strategy planning sheet here.